With a northerly wind forecast, the plan would normally have been to fly the VR98 slope at the Bwlch, but there was an F3F competition on there so we had to have a re-think.
I remembered previously driving past the Tower Colliery, heading south from the Heads of the Valley's road at Hirwaun and noticing the north facing slopes there. So with that in mind, Mark and I met up at Tesco, near to the Trefforest Industrial Estate on the A470 and set off through Pontypridd, Porth, Treorchy, Treherbert and then up the Rhigos mountain road to the snack van lay-by where we met up with Roger (Cliff Hanger) from Swansea who had flown the area before.
Roger showed us the way, along the road for maybe 150 yards, then turning off to head across the mostly flat common following a north west facing slope. After about 15 minutes we reached a white post stuck in the ground where the slope was now facing north and the 15mph wind was blowing straight into our faces.
I was the first to launch and my trusty Wildthing rose quickly into the air. Immediately I knew this was going to be fabulous flying with no turbulence at all. Landing was also a doddle with no rotor to talk about. Roger launched his Pshyco, followed by Mark with his Mini Graphite and Willow.
Roger left us after about an hour but Mark and I stayed on. As the day progressed, the wind did pick up just a little but the big thermals came rolling in and Mark was having a blast, taking the Mini Graphite up really high before powering down to perform HUGE loops and whistling past the slope face at high speed.
All to soon is was time to pack up and walk back to our cars, but we just know that if there's a north or north westerly blowing, we'll be going back there.
Here's the video
About A470 Soaring
This is the blog for a few guys who spend their time flying radio controlled gliders, or slope soarer's, from the many and varied slopes around SE Wales.
This usually begins at the northern end of Cardiff, driving north up the A470 up to the Heads of the Valley's and the southern fringe of the Brecon Beacons. But the A470 road continues its windy way all the way to N Wales.
There are many slopes available for most wind directions, the most famous being the area between Nant-y-Moel and Treorchi known as The Bwlch, which has some of the best slopes and flying in Europe with many F3F competitions being held there each year and visited by many fliers from Europe and around the world. At 1500 feet (450m) above sea level, there is usually more wind than not, and certainly more than at sea level.
If you require any further information, are new to slope soaring or are visiting the area, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to hearing from you.
Take a look at Page 2 (look below and to the left here) for Google maps of our most popular Flying Sites.